Roots in Pacific but Finau bleeds Red, White and Blue
Melbourne, AUSTRALIA — Tony Finau's ancestral roots lie not too far from Melbourne in the South Pacific but he bleeds Red, White and Blue and could not be more motivated to play for Tiger Woods at this week's Presidents Cup.
After falling just short of making the United States team automatically, Finau was selected as a wild card by Woods to round out the powerful line-up to take on the Internationals at Royal Melbourne.
The affable 30-year-old might be making his Presidents Cup debut but he is no stranger to representing his country having acquitted himself well, albeit in a losing cause, against Europe at last year's Ryder Cup.
After winning two of his three matches in that fiery Paris cauldron, the Presidents Cup should be a less stressful experience but Finau says the presence of a golfing great as team captain has added an extra layer of pressure.
"Having Tiger be captain, we're very determined as a team to bring the Cup back," Finau told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Born and raised in Utah, Finau grew up well aware of his heritage and there are scars on his arms that serve as a reminder of the days when he would perform Samoan fire-knife dances to pay for travel expenses for junior golf tournaments.
"I started doing that before I played any sports," he said.
"My dad was 13 when he moved to States with his parents from Tonga and my mom was around the same age when she moved from Samoa.
"I was born an American but my roots are back in the South Pacific.